Hermione | Act 3, Scene 2 | 90-115

Sir, spare your threats | The bug which you would fright me with I seek…

Arden 3 | 2010

Source
Arden 3 | John Wilder. New York: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2010.

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats.
The bug which you would fright me with I seek.                                90
To me can life be no commodity;
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost, for I do feel it gone
But know not how it went. My second joy,
And first fruits of my body, from his presence                                    95
I am barred, like one infectious. My third comfort,
Starred most unluckily, is from my breast,
The innocent milk in it most innocent mouth,
Haled out to murder; myself on every post
Proclaimed a strumpet; with immodest hatred                                100
The childbed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
Here, to this place, i’th’ open air, before
I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,                                           105
That I should fear to die. Therefore proceed.
But yet hear this – mistake me not – no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free – if I shall be condemned
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else                                             110
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
‘Tis rigour, and not law. Your honours all,
I do refer me to the oracle.
Apollo be my judge.

Thought Counts
Arden 3 | 2010

Short: 5
Medium: 3
Long: 2
Total: 10

End-stopped: 4
Mid-line: 6

Periods: 10
Exclamations: 0
Questions: 0
Unfinished: 0

Journey
Arden 3 | 2010

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats.
The bug which you would fright me with I seek.

 

 


To me can life be no commodity;
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,
But know not how it went.

 

My second joy,
And first-fruits of my body, from his presence
I am barr’d, like one infectious.

 

My third comfort
Starr’d most unluckily, is from my breast,
The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,
Haled out to murder; myself on every post
Proclaimed a strumpet; with immodest hatred
The child-bed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
Here to this place, i’ th’ open air, before
I have got strength of limit.

 

Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
That I should fear to die! Therefore proceed.

 


But yet hear this–mistake me not: no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free–if I shall be condemned
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
‘Tis rigor and not law. Your honours all,
I do refer me to the Oracle.
Apollo be my judge!

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats.
The bug which you would fright me with I seek.                                90
To me can life be no commodity;
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost, for I do feel it gone
But know not how it went. My second joy,
And first fruits of my body, from his presence                                    95
I am barred, like one infectious. My third comfort,
Starred most unluckily, is from my breast,
The innocent milk in it most innocent mouth,
Haled out to murder; myself on every post
Proclaimed a strumpet; with immodest hatred                                100
The childbed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
Here, to this place, i’th’ open air, before
I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,                                           105
That I should fear to die. Therefore proceed.
But yet hear this – mistake me not – no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free – if I shall be condemned
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else                                             110
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
‘Tis rigour, and not law. Your honours all,
I do refer me to the oracle.
Apollo be my judge.

Given Circumstances
Arden 3 | 2010

Place: the Royal Court of Bohemia

Time: Day, noon?

Thoughts
Arden 3 | 2010

HERMIONE
1. Sir, spare your threats.
2. The bug which you would fright me with I seek.                                90
3. To me can life be no commodity;
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost, for I do feel it gone
But know not how it went. 4. My second joy,
And first fruits of my body, from his presence                                    95
I am barred, like one infectious. 5. My third comfort,
Starred most unluckily, is from my breast,
The innocent milk in it most innocent mouth,
Haled out to murder; myself on every post
Proclaimed a strumpet; with immodest hatred                                100
The childbed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
Here, to this place, i’th’ open air, before
I have got strength of limit. 6. Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,                                           105
That I should fear to die. 7. Therefore proceed.
8. But yet hear this – mistake me not – no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free – if I shall be condemned
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else                                             110
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
‘Tis rigour, and not law. 9. Your honours all,
I do refer me to the oracle.
10. Apollo be my judge.

Line Analysis
Arden 3 | 2010

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats.                                                    4 (completing)
The bug which you would fright me with, I seek.          10R
To me can life be no commodity;                                   10R
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,             11w
I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,                                  10R
But know not how it went. My second joy,                    10R | 10
And first-fruits of my body, from his presence              11w
I am barr’d, like one infectious. My third comfort         12w 13w
Starr’d most unluckily, is from my breast,                       10R 10
The innocent milk in it most innocent mouth,           12 10R
Haled out to murder; myself on every post                  11 | 12
Proclaimed a strumpet; with immodest hatred           11w
The childbed privilege denied, which ‘longs              10R
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried                       11w
Here to this place, i’ th’ open air, before                     10
I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,              10R
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,                  10
That I should fear to die. Therefore proceed.           10 10R
But yet hear this – mistake me not – no life,                  10R
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,                      11w
Which I would free – if I shall be condemned                10R 10
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else                      10 10R
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you                11w | 11
‘Tis rigor, and not law. Your honours all,                    10 | 10R
I do refer me to the oracle.                                         10R
Apollo be my judge.                                                   6

Phrasing and Tempo
Arden 3 | 2010

HERMIONE
Sir, ^ spare your threats.      PAUSE?
The bug ^ which you would fright me with ^ I seek.    PAUSE?
To me ^ can life ^ be no commodity;
The crown ^ and comfort ^ of my life, ^ your favour,
I do give lost; ^ for I do feel it gone,
But know not how it went. ^ My second joy,
And first-fruits ^ of my body, ^ from his presence →
I am barr’d, ^ like one infectious. ^ My third comfort →*
Starr’d most unluckily, ^ is ^ from my breast,
The innocent milk ^ in it most ^ innocent mouth,
Haled out ^ to murder; ^ myself ^ on every post →
Proclaimed ^ a strumpet; ^ with immodest ^ hatred →
The child-bed privilege denied, ^ which ‘longs →
To women of all fashion; ^ lastly, hurried →
Here, ^ to this place, ^ i’ th’ open air, ^ before →
I have got strength of limit. ^ Now, ^ my liege,
Tell me ^ what blessings ^ I have here alive,
That I should fear to die. ^ Therefore ^ proceed.        PAUSE?
But yet hear this – ^ mistake me not ^ – no life,
I prize it not a straw, ^ but for mine honour,
Which I would free ^ – if I shall be condemn’d →
Upon surmises, ^ all proofs sleeping else →*
But what your jealousies awake, ^ I tell you →*
‘Tis rigor, ^ and not law. ^ Your honours all,
I do refer me to the Oracle.              PAUSE?
Apollo ^ be my judge.      PAUSE?

Alliteration
Arden 3| 2010

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats.
The bug which you would fright me with I seek.
To me can life be no commodity;
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,
But know not how it went. My second joy,
And first-fruits of my body, from his presence
I am barr’d, like one infectious. My third comfort
Starr’d most unluckily, is from my breast,
The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,
Haled out to murder; myself on every post
Proclaimed a strumpet; with immodest hatred
The child-bed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
Here to this place, i’ th’ open air, before
I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
That I should fear to die! Therefore proceed.
But yet hear this–mistake me not: no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free–if I shall be condemn’d
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
‘Tis rigor and not law. Your honours all,
I do refer me to the Oracle.
Apollo be my judge!

Assonance & Rhyme
Oxford | 1996

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats.
The bug which you would fright me with I seek.
To me can life be no commodity;
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,
But know not how it went. My second joy,
And first-fruits of my body, from his presence
I am barr’d, like one infectious. My third comfort
Starr’d most unluckily, is from my breast,
The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,
Haled out to murder; myself on every post
Proclaimed a strumpet; with immodest hatred
The child-bed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
Here to this place, i’ th’ open air, before
I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
That I should fear to die! Therefore proceed.
But yet hear this–mistake me not: no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free–if I shall be condemn’d
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
‘Tis rigor and not law. Your honours all,
I do refer me to the Oracle.
Apollo be my judge.

Consonance & Onomatopoeia
Oxford | 1996

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats.
The bug which you would fright me with I seek.
To me can life be no commodity;
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,
But know not how it went. My second joy,
And first-fruits of my body, from his presence
I am barr’d, like one infectious. My third comfort
Starr’d most unluckily, is from my breast,
The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,
Haled out to murder; myself on every post
Proclaimed a strumpet; with immodest hatred
The child-bed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
Here to this place, i’ th’ open air, before
I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
That I should fear to die! Therefore proceed.
But yet hear this–mistake me not: no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free–if I shall be condemn’d
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
‘Tis rigor and not law. Your honours all,
I do refer me to the Oracle.
Apollo be my judge!

Rhetoric
Oxford | 1996

imagery

Sir, spare your threats.
The bug which you would fright me with I seek.

The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost;

My third comfort
Starr’d most unluckily, is from my breast,
The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,
Haled out to murder;

myself on every post
Proclaimed a strumpet;

lastly, hurried
Here to this place, i’ th’ open air, before
I have got strength of limit.

But yet hear this–mistake me not: no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free–if I shall be condemn’d
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
But what your jealousies awake,

metaphor

Sir, spare your threats.
The bug which you would fright me with I seek.

The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost;

My second joy,
And first-fruits of my body,

simile

from his presence
I am barr’d, like one infectious.

plain comparison

no life,
I prize it not a straw,

‘Tis rigor and not law.

juxtaposition

no life,
I prize it not a straw,

antithesis

The bug which you would fright me with I seek.

The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,
But know not how it went.

Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
That I should fear to die!

But yet hear this–mistake me not: no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free–

if I shall be condemn’d
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
But what your jealousies awake,

‘Tis rigor and not law.

contradiction/paradox

 

personification

Haled out to murder;

Tell me what blessings I have here alive,

but for mine honour,
Which I would free–

all proofs sleeping else
But what your jealousies awake,

this and that

The crown and comfort of my life,

My second joy,
And first-fruits of my body,

‘Tis rigor and not law.

this, that, and another thing

 

enumerations

1) The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,
But know not how it went. 2) My second joy,
And first-fruits of my body, from his presence
I am barr’d, like one infectious. 3) My third comfort
Starr’d most unluckily, is from my breast,
The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,
Haled out to murder; 4 )myself on every post
Proclaimed a strumpet; 5) with immodest hatred
The child-bed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; 6) lastly, hurried
Here to this place, i’ th’ open air, before
I have got strength of limit.

repetitions of words or phrases

comfort (2x)

innocent (2x)

honour/honours (2x)

parenthesis

My third comfort
(Starr’d most unluckily), is from my breast,
(The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth),
Haled out to murder;

lastly, hurried
Here to this place, (i’ th’ open air), before
I have got strength of limit.

But yet hear this (–mistake me not: no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free–) if I shall be condemn’d
Upon surmises, (all proofs sleeping else
But what your jealousies awake), I tell you
‘Tis rigor and not law.

irony

The bug which you would fright me with I seek.

puns and other wordplay

 

onomatopoeia

 

Sir, spare your threats.
The bug which you would fright me with I seek.
To me can life be no commodity;
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,
But know not how it went. My second joy,
And first-fruits of my body, from his presence
I am barr’d, like one infectious. My third comfort
Starr’d most unluckily, is from my breast,
The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,
Haled out to murder; myself on every post
Proclaimed a strumpet; with immodest hatred
The child-bed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
Here to this place, i’ th’ open air, before
I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
That I should fear to die! Therefore proceed.
But yet hear this–mistake me not: no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free–if I shall be condemn’d
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
‘Tis rigor and not law. Your honours all,
I do refer me to the Oracle.
Apollo be my judge!

Before and After
Oxford | 1996

SCENE II. A court of Justice.

Enter LEONTES, Lords, and Officers

LEONTES
This sessions, to our great grief we pronounce,
Even pushes ‘gainst our heart: the party tried
The daughter of a king, our wife, and one
Of us too much beloved. Let us be clear’d
Of being tyrannous, since we so openly
Proceed in justice, which shall have due course,
Even to the guilt or the purgation.
Produce the prisoner.

Officer
It is his highness’ pleasure that the queen
Appear in person here in court. Silence!

Enter HERMIONE guarded; PAULINA and Ladies attending

LEONTES
Read the indictment.

Officer
[Reads] Hermione, queen to the worthy Leontes, king of Sicilia, thou art here accused and arraigned of high treason, in committing adultery with Polixenes, king of Bohemia, and conspiring with Camillo to take away the life of our sovereign lord the king, thy royal husband: the pretence whereof being by circumstances partly laid open, thou, Hermione, contrary to the faith and allegiance of a true subject, didst counsel and aid them, for their better safety, to fly away by night.

HERMIONE
Since what I am to say must be but that
Which contradicts my accusation and
The testimony on my part no other
But what comes from myself, it shall scarce boot me
To say ‘not guilty:’ mine integrity
Being counted falsehood, shall, as I express it,
Be so received. But thus: if powers divine
Behold our human actions, as they do,
I doubt not then but innocence shall make
False accusation blush and tyranny
Tremble at patience. You, my lord, best know,
Who least will seem to do so, my past life
Hath been as continent, as chaste, as true,
As I am now unhappy; which is more
Than history can pattern, though devised
And play’d to take spectators. For behold me
A fellow of the royal bed, which owe
A moiety of the throne a great king’s daughter,
The mother to a hopeful prince, here standing
To prate and talk for life and honour ‘fore
Who please to come and hear. For life, I prize it
As I weigh grief, which I would spare: for honour,
‘Tis a derivative from me to mine,
And only that I stand for. I appeal
To your own conscience, sir, before Polixenes
Came to your court, how I was in your grace,
How merited to be so; since he came,
With what encounter so uncurrent I
Have strain’d to appear thus: if one jot beyond
The bound of honour, or in act or will
That way inclining, harden’d be the hearts
Of all that hear me, and my near’st of kin
Cry fie upon my grave!

LEONTES
I ne’er heard yet
That any of these bolder vices wanted
Less impudence to gainsay what they did
Than to perform it first.

HERMIONE
That’s true enough;
Through ’tis a saying, sir, not due to me.

LEONTES
You will not own it.

HERMIONE
More than mistress of
Which comes to me in name of fault, I must not
At all acknowledge. For Polixenes,
With whom I am accused, I do confess
I loved him as in honour he required,
With such a kind of love as might become
A lady like me, with a love even such,
So and no other, as yourself commanded:
Which not to have done I think had been in me
Both disobedience and ingratitude
To you and toward your friend, whose love had spoke,
Even since it could speak, from an infant, freely
That it was yours. Now, for conspiracy,
I know not how it tastes; though it be dish’d
For me to try how: all I know of it
Is that Camillo was an honest man;
And why he left your court, the gods themselves,
Wotting no more than I, are ignorant.

LEONTES
You knew of his departure, as you know
What you have underta’en to do in’s absence.

HERMIONE
Sir,
You speak a language that I understand not:
My life stands in the level of your dreams,
Which I’ll lay down.

LEONTES
Your actions are my dreams;
You had a bastard by Polixenes,
And I but dream’d it. As you were past all shame,–
Those of your fact are so–so past all truth:
Which to deny concerns more than avails; for as
Thy brat hath been cast out, like to itself,
No father owning it,–which is, indeed,
More criminal in thee than it,–so thou
Shalt feel our justice, in whose easiest passage
Look for no less than death.

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats:
The bug which you would fright me with, I seek.
To me can life be no commodity;
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost, for I do feel it gone,
But know not how it went. My second joy,
And first-fruits of my body, from his presence
I am barr’d, like one infectious. My third comfort
(Starr’d most unluckily) is from my breast
(The innocent milk in it most innocent mouth)
Hal’d out to murder; myself on every post
Proclaim’d a strumpet, with immodest hatred
The child-bed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
Here, to this place, i’ th’ open air, before
I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
That I should fear to die? Therefore proceed.
But yet hear this: mistake me not; no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free: if I shall be condemn’d
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
‘Tis rigor and not law. Your honours all,
I do refer me to the Oracle:
Apollo be my judge!

First Lord
This your request
Is altogether just: therefore bring forth,
And in Apollos name, his oracle.
Exeunt certain Officers

HERMIONE
The Emperor of Russia was my father:
O that he were alive, and here beholding
His daughter’s trial! that he did but see
The flatness of my misery, yet with eyes
Of pity, not revenge!

Re-enter Officers, with CLEOMENES and DION

Definitions
Arden 3 | 2010

spare

bug

fright

commodity

crown

comfort

favour,

first-fruits

barr’d

starr’d

unluckily

breast,

innocent

haled

post

strumpet

immodest

hatred

child-bed

open air

strength of limit

liege

blessings

fear

prize

not a straw

free

surmises

all proofs sleeping

rigor

Oracle

Apollo

Translation
Ian Leung

HERMIONE
Mister, save your menaces.

Translation
No Fear Shakespeare

HERMIONE
Sir, save your threats. I’d seek out the terrible punishment you threaten me with. Life has no value for me now. Having your favor was my highest goal and my comfort, and I give it up as lost now, though I don’t know how. My second joy in life, my first son, is kept from me as though I have a disease. My third comfort, that unlucky child with the innocent milk still in its innocent mouth, has been taken from my breast and dragged out to be murdered. I’ve been publicly declared a whore, with outrageous hatred denied the rest after childbirth that all women of my rank deserve, and hurried here into the open air before I’ve regained my strength. Now, my lord, tell me what I have to live for, and why I should fear death. Go ahead. But listen to what I say, which I say not for the sake of my life but for my honor: if I am condemned on mere guesses and your jealousy without any proof, it is merely severity and not justice. Your honors, I commend myself to the oracle, and let Apollo be my judge!

Hermione | Act 3, Scene 2 | 90-115

Sir, spare your threats | The bug which you would fright me with I seek…

Arden 2 | 1963

Source
Arden | J.H.P. Pafford. London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1963

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats:
The bug which you would fright me with I seek.
To me can life be no commodity:
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,
But know not how it went. My second joy,
And first-fruits of my body, from his presence
I am barr’d, like one infectious. My third comfort
Starr’d most unluckily, is from my breast,
The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,
Haled out to murder: myself on every post
Proclaim’d a strumpet: with immodest hatred
The child-bed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
Here, to this place, i’ the open air, before
I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
That I should fear to die? Therefore proceed.
But yet hear this: mistake me not; no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free, if I shall be condemn’d
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
‘Tis rigor and not law. Your honours all,
I do refer me to the Oracle:
Apollo be my judge!

Thought Counts
Arden | 1963

Short: 2
Medium: 4
Long: 2
Total: 8

End-stopped: 2
Mid-line: 6

Periods: 6
Exclamations: 1
Questions: 1
Unfinished: 0

Thoughts
Arden | 1963

HERMIONE
1. Sir, spare your threats:
The bug which you would fright me with I seek.
2. To me can life be no commodity:
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,
But know not how it went. 3. My second joy,
And first-fruits of my body, from his presence
I am barr’d, like one infectious. 4. My third comfort
Starr’d most unluckily, is from my breast,
The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,
Haled out to murder: myself on every post
Proclaim’d a strumpet: with immodest hatred
The child-bed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
Here, to this place, i’ the open air, before
I have got strength of limit. 5. Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
That I should fear to die? 6. Therefore proceed.
7. But yet hear this: mistake me not; no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free, if I shall be condemn’d
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
‘Tis rigor and not law. 8. Your honours all,
I do refer me to the Oracle:
Apollo be my judge!

Line Analysis
Arden | 1963

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats:                                                    4
The bug which you would fright me with, I seek.          10R
To me can life be no commodity:                                   10R
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,             11w
I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,                                  10R
But know not how it went. My second joy,                    10R
And first-fruits of my body, from his presence              11w
I am barr’d, like one infectious. My third comfort         12w 13w
Starr’d most unluckily, is from my breast,                       10R 10
The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,           12 10R
Haled out to murder: myself on every post                  11
Proclaimed a strumpet: with immodest hatred           11w
The child-bed privilege denied, which ‘longs              10R
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried                       11w
Here to this place, i’ the open air, before                  11 10
I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,              10R 11
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,                  10
That I should fear to die? Therefore proceed.           10 10R
But yet hear this: mistake me not; no life,                  10R
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,                      11w
Which I would free: if I shall be condemn’d                10R 10
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else                      10 10R
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you                11w
‘Tis rigor and not law. Your honours all,                    10R
I do refer me to the Oracle:                                         10R
Apollo be my judge!                                                   6

Phrasing and Tempo
Arden | 1963

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats:                          slowly
The bug which you would fright me with <c> I seek.   pause   slowly
To me can life be no commodity:                slowly |
The crown and comfort of my life, <c> your favour,
I do give lost; <c> for I do feel it gone,            slowly
But know not how it went. <c, quicklyMy second joy,       slowly |
And first-fruits of my body, <cfrom his presence
I am barr’d, like one infectious. <c, quickly> My third comfort
Starr’d most unluckily, <c> is from my breast,              slowly  carefully
The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,          carefully
Haled out to murder: <c> myself on every post          carefully
Proclaim’d a strumpet: <c> with immodest hatred
The child-bed privilege denied, <c> which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; <c> lastly, hurried
Here, <c> to this place, <c> i’ the open air, <c> before
I have got strength of limit. <c, quickly> Now, my liege,    slowly
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
That I should fear to die? <c, quicklyTherefore proceed.   pause   slowly |
But yet hear this: <cmistake me not; <c> no life,   slowly | | slowly
I prize it not a straw, <c> but for mine honour,    slowly |
Which I would free, <c> if I shall be condemn’d    slowly |
Upon surmises, <c> all proofs sleeping else   carefully
But what your jealousies awake, <c> I tell you
‘Tis rigor and not law. <c, quickly> Your honours all,
I do refer me to the Oracle:
Apollo be my judge!

Sounds
Arden | 1963

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats:
The bug which you would fright me with I seek.
To me can life be no commodity:
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,
But know not how it went. My second joy,
And first-fruits of my body, from his presence
I am barr’d, like one infectious. My third comfort
Starr’d most unluckily, is from my breast,
The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,
Haled out to murder: myself on every post
Proclaim’d a strumpet: with immodest hatred
The child-bed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
Here, to this place, i’ the open air, before
I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
That I should fear to die? Therefore proceed.
But yet hear this: mistake me not; no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free, if I shall be condemn’d
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
‘Tis rigor and not law. Your honours all,
I do refer me to the Oracle:
Apollo be my judge!

Rhetoric
Arden | 1963

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats:
The bug which you would fright me with I seek.    (metaphor, imagery)
To me can life be no commodity:
The crown and comfort of my life, [your favour,]   (metaphor, list, this and that, imagery)
I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,                   (antithesis)
But know not how it went. My second joy,
And first-fruits of my body, from his presence     (metaphor)
I am barr’d, like one infectious. My third comfort    (simile, imagery)
[Starr’d most unluckily], is from my breast,            (imagery)
[The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,]    (imagery)
Haled out to murder: myself on every post            (imagery, personification)
Proclaim’d a strumpet: with immodest hatred
The child-bed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried        (imagery)
Here, [to this place, i’ the open air,] before
I have got strength of limit. Now, [my liege,]
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,         (imagery, antithesis)
That I should fear to die? Therefore proceed.
But yet hear this: mistake me not; no life,
[I prize it not a straw,] but for mine honour,  (comparison)
Which I would free, if I shall be condemn’d
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else     (personification)
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you  (personification)
‘Tis rigor and not law. Your honours all,          (this and that)
I do refer me to the Oracle:
Apollo be my judge!

Before and After
Arden | 1963

SCENE II. A court of Justice.

Enter LEONTES, Lords, and Officers

LEONTES
This sessions, to our great grief we pronounce,
Even pushes ‘gainst our heart: the party tried
The daughter of a king, our wife, and one
Of us too much beloved. Let us be clear’d
Of being tyrannous, since we so openly
Proceed in justice, which shall have due course,
Even to the guilt or the purgation.
Produce the prisoner.

Officer
It is his highness’ pleasure that the queen
Appear in person here in court. Silence!

Enter HERMIONE guarded; PAULINA and Ladies attending

LEONTES
Read the indictment.

Officer
[Reads] Hermione, queen to the worthy Leontes, king of Sicilia, thou art here accused and arraigned of high treason, in committing adultery with Polixenes, king of Bohemia, and conspiring with Camillo to take away the life of our sovereign lord the king, thy royal husband: the pretence whereof being by circumstances partly laid open, thou, Hermione, contrary to the faith and allegiance of a true subject, didst counsel and aid them, for their better safety, to fly away by night.

HERMIONE
Since what I am to say must be but that
Which contradicts my accusation and
The testimony on my part no other
But what comes from myself, it shall scarce boot me
To say ‘not guilty:’ mine integrity
Being counted falsehood, shall, as I express it,
Be so received. But thus: if powers divine
Behold our human actions, as they do,
I doubt not then but innocence shall make
False accusation blush and tyranny
Tremble at patience. You, my lord, best know,
Who least will seem to do so, my past life
Hath been as continent, as chaste, as true,
As I am now unhappy; which is more
Than history can pattern, though devised
And play’d to take spectators. For behold me
A fellow of the royal bed, which owe
A moiety of the throne a great king’s daughter,
The mother to a hopeful prince, here standing
To prate and talk for life and honour ‘fore
Who please to come and hear. For life, I prize it
As I weigh grief, which I would spare: for honour,
‘Tis a derivative from me to mine,
And only that I stand for. I appeal
To your own conscience, sir, before Polixenes
Came to your court, how I was in your grace,
How merited to be so; since he came,
With what encounter so uncurrent I
Have strain’d to appear thus: if one jot beyond
The bound of honour, or in act or will
That way inclining, harden’d be the hearts
Of all that hear me, and my near’st of kin
Cry fie upon my grave!

LEONTES
I ne’er heard yet
That any of these bolder vices wanted
Less impudence to gainsay what they did
Than to perform it first.

HERMIONE
That’s true enough;
Through ’tis a saying, sir, not due to me.

LEONTES
You will not own it.

HERMIONE
More than mistress of
Which comes to me in name of fault, I must not
At all acknowledge. For Polixenes,
With whom I am accused, I do confess
I loved him as in honour he required,
With such a kind of love as might become
A lady like me, with a love even such,
So and no other, as yourself commanded:
Which not to have done I think had been in me
Both disobedience and ingratitude
To you and toward your friend, whose love had spoke,
Even since it could speak, from an infant, freely
That it was yours. Now, for conspiracy,
I know not how it tastes; though it be dish’d
For me to try how: all I know of it
Is that Camillo was an honest man;
And why he left your court, the gods themselves,
Wotting no more than I, are ignorant.

LEONTES
You knew of his departure, as you know
What you have underta’en to do in’s absence.

HERMIONE
Sir,
You speak a language that I understand not:
My life stands in the level of your dreams,
Which I’ll lay down.

LEONTES
Your actions are my dreams;
You had a bastard by Polixenes,
And I but dream’d it. As you were past all shame,–
Those of your fact are so–so past all truth:
Which to deny concerns more than avails; for as
Thy brat hath been cast out, like to itself,
No father owning it,–which is, indeed,
More criminal in thee than it,–so thou
Shalt feel our justice, in whose easiest passage
Look for no less than death.

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats:
The bug which you would fright me with, I seek.
To me can life be no commodity;
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost, for I do feel it gone,
But know not how it went. My second joy,
And first-fruits of my body, from his presence
I am barr’d, like one infectious. My third comfort
(Starr’d most unluckily) is from my breast
(The innocent milk in it most innocent mouth)
Hal’d out to murder; myself on every post
Proclaim’d a strumpet, with immodest hatred
The child-bed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
Here, to this place, i’ th’ open air, before
I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
That I should fear to die? Therefore proceed.
But yet hear this: mistake me not; no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free: if I shall be condemn’d
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
‘Tis rigor and not law. Your honours all,
I do refer me to the Oracle:
Apollo be my judge!

First Lord
This your request
Is altogether just: therefore bring forth,
And in Apollos name, his oracle.
Exeunt certain Officers

HERMIONE
The Emperor of Russia was my father:
O that he were alive, and here beholding
His daughter’s trial! that he did but see
The flatness of my misery, yet with eyes
Of pity, not revenge!

Re-enter Officers, with CLEOMENES and DION

Definitions
Arden | 1963

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats:
The bug which you would fright me with I seek.
To me can life be no commodity:
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,
But know not how it went. My second joy,
And first-fruits of my body, from his presence
I am barr’d, like one infectious. My third comfort
Starr’d most unluckily, is from my breast,
The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,
Haled out to murder: myself on every post
Proclaim’d a strumpet: with immodest hatred
The child-bed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
Here, to this place, i’ the open air, before
I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
That I should fear to die? Therefore proceed.
But yet hear this: mistake me not; no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free, if I shall be condemn’d
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
‘Tis rigor and not law. Your honours all,
I do refer me to the Oracle:
Apollo be my judge!

Translation
Arden | 1963

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats:
The bug which you would fright me with I seek.
To me can life be no commodity:
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,
But know not how it went. My second joy,
And first-fruits of my body, from his presence
I am barr’d, like one infectious. My third comfort
Starr’d most unluckily, is from my breast,
The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,
Haled out to murder: myself on every post
Proclaim’d a strumpet: with immodest hatred
The child-bed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
Here, to this place, i’ the open air, before
I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
That I should fear to die? Therefore proceed.
But yet hear this: mistake me not; no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free, if I shall be condemn’d
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
‘Tis rigor and not law. Your honours all,
I do refer me to the Oracle:
Apollo be my judge!

Hermione | Act 3, Scene 2 | 90-115

Sir, spare your threats | The bug which you would fright me with I seek…

Oxford | 1996

Source
Oxford | Orgel, Stephen. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats.
The bug which you would fright me with I seek.
To me can life be no commodity;
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,
But know not how it went. My second joy,
And first-fruits of my body, from his presence
I am barr’d, like one infectious. My third comfort
Starr’d most unluckily, is from my breast,
The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,
Haled out to murder; myself on every post
Proclaimed a strumpet; with immodest hatred
The child-bed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
Here to this place, i’ th’ open air, before
I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
That I should fear to die! Therefore proceed.
But yet hear this–mistake me not: no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free–if I shall be condemn’d
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
‘Tis rigor and not law. Your honours all,
I do refer me to the Oracle.
Apollo be my judge.

Thought Counts
Oxford | 1996

Short: 5
Medium: 3
Long: 2
Total: 10

End-stopped: 4
Mid-line: 6

Periods: 9
Exclamations: 1
Questions: 0
Unfinished: 0

Journey
Arden 3 | 2010

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats.
The bug which you would fright me with I seek.

 

 


To me can life be no commodity;
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,
But know not how it went.

 

My second joy,
And first-fruits of my body, from his presence
I am barr’d, like one infectious.

 

My third comfort
Starr’d most unluckily, is from my breast,
The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,
Haled out to murder; myself on every post
Proclaimed a strumpet; with immodest hatred
The child-bed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
Here to this place, i’ th’ open air, before
I have got strength of limit.

 

Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
That I should fear to die! Therefore proceed.

 


But yet hear this–mistake me not: no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free–if I shall be condemned
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
‘Tis rigor and not law. Your honours all,
I do refer me to the Oracle.
Apollo be my judge!

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats.
The bug which you would fright me with I seek.                                90
To me can life be no commodity;
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost, for I do feel it gone
But know not how it went. My second joy,
And first fruits of my body, from his presence                                    95
I am barred, like one infectious. My third comfort,
Starred most unluckily, is from my breast,
The innocent milk in it most innocent mouth,
Haled out to murder; myself on every post
Proclaimed a strumpet; with immodest hatred                                100
The childbed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
Here, to this place, i’th’ open air, before
I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,                                           105
That I should fear to die. Therefore proceed.
But yet hear this – mistake me not – no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free – if I shall be condemned
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else                                             110
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
‘Tis rigour, and not law. Your honours all,
I do refer me to the oracle.
Apollo be my judge.

Given Circumstances
Arden 3 | 2010

Place: the Royal Court of Bohemia

Time: Day, noon?

Thoughts
Arden 3 | 2010

HERMIONE
1. Sir, spare your threats.
2. The bug which you would fright me with I seek.                                90
3. To me can life be no commodity;
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost, for I do feel it gone
But know not how it went. 4. My second joy,
And first fruits of my body, from his presence                                    95
I am barred, like one infectious. 5. My third comfort,
Starred most unluckily, is from my breast,
The innocent milk in it most innocent mouth,
Haled out to murder; myself on every post
Proclaimed a strumpet; with immodest hatred                                100
The childbed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
Here, to this place, i’th’ open air, before
I have got strength of limit. 6. Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,                                           105
That I should fear to die. 7. Therefore proceed.
8. But yet hear this – mistake me not – no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free – if I shall be condemned
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else                                             110
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
‘Tis rigour, and not law. 9. Your honours all,
I do refer me to the oracle.
10. Apollo be my judge.

Line Analysis
Arden 3 | 2010

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats.                                                    4
The bug which you would fright me with, I seek.          10R
To me can life be no commodity;                                   10R
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,             11w
I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,                                  10R
But know not how it went. My second joy,                    10R
And first-fruits of my body, from his presence              11w
I am barr’d, like one infectious. My third comfort         12w 13w
Starr’d most unluckily, is from my breast,                       10R 10
The innocent milk in it most innocent mouth,           12 10R
Haled out to murder; myself on every post                  11
Proclaimed a strumpet; with immodest hatred           11w
The child-bed privilege denied, which ‘longs              10R
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried                       11w
Here to this place, i’ th’ open air, before                     10
I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,              10R
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,                  10
That I should fear to die. Therefore proceed.           10 10R
But yet hear this: mistake me not–no life,                  10R
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,                      11w
Which I would free–if I shall be condemned                10R 10
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else                      10 10R
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you                11w
‘Tis rigor and not law. Your honours all,                    10R
I do refer me to the Oracle.                                         10R
Apollo be my judge.                                                   6

Phrasing and Tempo
Oxford | 1996

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats.
The bug which you would fright me with I seek.
To me can life be no commodity;
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,
But know not how it went. My second joy,
And first-fruits of my body, from his presence
I am barr’d, like one infectious. My third comfort
Starr’d most unluckily, is from my breast,
The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,
Haled out to murder; myself on every post
Proclaimed a strumpet; with immodest hatred
The child-bed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
Here to this place, i’ th’ open air, before
I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
That I should fear to die! Therefore proceed.
But yet hear this–mistake me not: no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free–if I shall be condemn’d
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
‘Tis rigor and not law. Your honours all,
I do refer me to the Oracle.
Apollo be my judge.

Alliteration
Oxford | 1996

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats.
The bug which you would fright me with I seek.
To me can life be no commodity;
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,
But know not how it went. My second joy,
And first-fruits of my body, from his presence
I am barr’d, like one infectious. My third comfort
Starr’d most unluckily, is from my breast,
The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,
Haled out to murder; myself on every post
Proclaimed a strumpet; with immodest hatred
The child-bed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
Here to this place, i’ th’ open air, before
I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
That I should fear to die! Therefore proceed.
But yet hear this–mistake me not: no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free–if I shall be condemn’d
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
‘Tis rigor and not law. Your honours all,
I do refer me to the Oracle.
Apollo be my judge!

Assonance & Rhyme
Oxford | 1996

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats.
The bug which you would fright me with I seek.
To me can life be no commodity;
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,
But know not how it went. My second joy,
And first-fruits of my body, from his presence
I am barr’d, like one infectious. My third comfort
Starr’d most unluckily, is from my breast,
The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,
Haled out to murder; myself on every post
Proclaimed a strumpet; with immodest hatred
The child-bed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
Here to this place, i’ th’ open air, before
I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
That I should fear to die! Therefore proceed.
But yet hear this–mistake me not: no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free–if I shall be condemn’d
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
‘Tis rigor and not law. Your honours all,
I do refer me to the Oracle.
Apollo be my judge.

Consonance & Onomatopoeia
Oxford | 1996

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats.
The bug which you would fright me with I seek.
To me can life be no commodity;
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,
But know not how it went. My second joy,
And first-fruits of my body, from his presence
I am barr’d, like one infectious. My third comfort
Starr’d most unluckily, is from my breast,
The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,
Haled out to murder; myself on every post
Proclaimed a strumpet; with immodest hatred
The child-bed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
Here to this place, i’ th’ open air, before
I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
That I should fear to die! Therefore proceed.
But yet hear this–mistake me not: no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free–if I shall be condemn’d
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
‘Tis rigor and not law. Your honours all,
I do refer me to the Oracle.
Apollo be my judge!

Rhetoric
Oxford | 1996

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats.
The bug which you would fright me with I seek.
To me can life be no commodity;
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,
But know not how it went. My second joy,
And first-fruits of my body, from his presence
I am barr’d, like one infectious. My third comfort
Starr’d most unluckily, is from my breast,
The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,
Haled out to murder; myself on every post
Proclaimed a strumpet; with immodest hatred
The child-bed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
Here to this place, i’ th’ open air, before
I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
That I should fear to die! Therefore proceed.
But yet hear this–mistake me not: no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free–if I shall be condemn’d
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
‘Tis rigor and not law. Your honours all,
I do refer me to the Oracle.
Apollo be my judge!

Before and After
Oxford | 1996

SCENE II. A court of Justice.

Enter LEONTES, Lords, and Officers

LEONTES
This sessions, to our great grief we pronounce,
Even pushes ‘gainst our heart: the party tried
The daughter of a king, our wife, and one
Of us too much beloved. Let us be clear’d
Of being tyrannous, since we so openly
Proceed in justice, which shall have due course,
Even to the guilt or the purgation.
Produce the prisoner.

Officer
It is his highness’ pleasure that the queen
Appear in person here in court. Silence!

Enter HERMIONE guarded; PAULINA and Ladies attending

LEONTES
Read the indictment.

Officer
[Reads] Hermione, queen to the worthy Leontes, king of Sicilia, thou art here accused and arraigned of high treason, in committing adultery with Polixenes, king of Bohemia, and conspiring with Camillo to take away the life of our sovereign lord the king, thy royal husband: the pretence whereof being by circumstances partly laid open, thou, Hermione, contrary to the faith and allegiance of a true subject, didst counsel and aid them, for their better safety, to fly away by night.

HERMIONE
Since what I am to say must be but that
Which contradicts my accusation and
The testimony on my part no other
But what comes from myself, it shall scarce boot me
To say ‘not guilty:’ mine integrity
Being counted falsehood, shall, as I express it,
Be so received. But thus: if powers divine
Behold our human actions, as they do,
I doubt not then but innocence shall make
False accusation blush and tyranny
Tremble at patience. You, my lord, best know,
Who least will seem to do so, my past life
Hath been as continent, as chaste, as true,
As I am now unhappy; which is more
Than history can pattern, though devised
And play’d to take spectators. For behold me
A fellow of the royal bed, which owe
A moiety of the throne a great king’s daughter,
The mother to a hopeful prince, here standing
To prate and talk for life and honour ‘fore
Who please to come and hear. For life, I prize it
As I weigh grief, which I would spare: for honour,
‘Tis a derivative from me to mine,
And only that I stand for. I appeal
To your own conscience, sir, before Polixenes
Came to your court, how I was in your grace,
How merited to be so; since he came,
With what encounter so uncurrent I
Have strain’d to appear thus: if one jot beyond
The bound of honour, or in act or will
That way inclining, harden’d be the hearts
Of all that hear me, and my near’st of kin
Cry fie upon my grave!

LEONTES
I ne’er heard yet
That any of these bolder vices wanted
Less impudence to gainsay what they did
Than to perform it first.

HERMIONE
That’s true enough;
Through ’tis a saying, sir, not due to me.

LEONTES
You will not own it.

HERMIONE
More than mistress of
Which comes to me in name of fault, I must not
At all acknowledge. For Polixenes,
With whom I am accused, I do confess
I loved him as in honour he required,
With such a kind of love as might become
A lady like me, with a love even such,
So and no other, as yourself commanded:
Which not to have done I think had been in me
Both disobedience and ingratitude
To you and toward your friend, whose love had spoke,
Even since it could speak, from an infant, freely
That it was yours. Now, for conspiracy,
I know not how it tastes; though it be dish’d
For me to try how: all I know of it
Is that Camillo was an honest man;
And why he left your court, the gods themselves,
Wotting no more than I, are ignorant.

LEONTES
You knew of his departure, as you know
What you have underta’en to do in’s absence.

HERMIONE
Sir,
You speak a language that I understand not:
My life stands in the level of your dreams,
Which I’ll lay down.

LEONTES
Your actions are my dreams;
You had a bastard by Polixenes,
And I but dream’d it. As you were past all shame,–
Those of your fact are so–so past all truth:
Which to deny concerns more than avails; for as
Thy brat hath been cast out, like to itself,
No father owning it,–which is, indeed,
More criminal in thee than it,–so thou
Shalt feel our justice, in whose easiest passage
Look for no less than death.

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats:
The bug which you would fright me with, I seek.
To me can life be no commodity;
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost, for I do feel it gone,
But know not how it went. My second joy,
And first-fruits of my body, from his presence
I am barr’d, like one infectious. My third comfort
(Starr’d most unluckily) is from my breast
(The innocent milk in it most innocent mouth)
Hal’d out to murder; myself on every post
Proclaim’d a strumpet, with immodest hatred
The child-bed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
Here, to this place, i’ th’ open air, before
I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
That I should fear to die? Therefore proceed.
But yet hear this: mistake me not; no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free: if I shall be condemn’d
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
‘Tis rigor and not law. Your honours all,
I do refer me to the Oracle:
Apollo be my judge!

First Lord
This your request
Is altogether just: therefore bring forth,
And in Apollos name, his oracle.
Exeunt certain Officers

HERMIONE
The Emperor of Russia was my father:
O that he were alive, and here beholding
His daughter’s trial! that he did but see
The flatness of my misery, yet with eyes
Of pity, not revenge!

Re-enter Officers, with CLEOMENES and DION

Definitions
Oxford | 1996

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats.
The bug which you would fright me with I seek.
To me can life be no commodity;
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,
But know not how it went. My second joy,
And first-fruits of my body, from his presence
I am barr’d, like one infectious. My third comfort
Starr’d most unluckily, is from my breast,
The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,
Haled out to murder; myself on every post
Proclaimed a strumpet; with immodest hatred
The child-bed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
Here to this place, i’ th’ open air, before
I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
That I should fear to die! Therefore proceed.
But yet hear this–mistake me not: no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free–if I shall be condemn’d
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
‘Tis rigor and not law. Your honours all,
I do refer me to the Oracle.
Apollo be my judge!

Translation
Oxford | 1996

HERMIONE
Sir, spare your threats.
The bug which you would fright me with I seek.
To me can life be no commodity;
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,
But know not how it went. My second joy,
And first-fruits of my body, from his presence
I am barr’d, like one infectious. My third comfort
Starr’d most unluckily, is from my breast,
The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,
Haled out to murder; myself on every post
Proclaimed a strumpet; with immodest hatred
The child-bed privilege denied, which ‘longs
To women of all fashion; lastly, hurried
Here to this place, i’ th’ open air, before
I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
That I should fear to die! Therefore proceed.
But yet hear this–mistake me not: no life,
I prize it not a straw, but for mine honour,
Which I would free–if I shall be condemn’d
Upon surmises, all proofs sleeping else
But what your jealousies awake, I tell you
‘Tis rigor and not law. Your honours all,
I do refer me to the Oracle.
Apollo be my judge!

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